Journal Article

Potent inhibition of carcinogen-bioactivating cytochrome P450 1B1 by the p53 inhibitor pifithrin α

Lydie Sparfel, Julien Van Grevenynghe, Marc Le Vee, Caroline Aninat and Olivier Fardel

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 27, issue 3, pages 656-663
Published in print March 2006 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Potent inhibition of carcinogen-bioactivating cytochrome P450 1B1 by the p53 inhibitor pifithrin α

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Pifithrin α (PFTα) is a chemical compound that inhibits p53-mediated gene activation and apoptosis. It has also been recently shown to alter metabolism of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This has led us to examine the effect of PFTα on the activity of cytochrome P-450 (CYP) 1 isoforms, known to metabolize PAHs, such as benzo(a)pyrene (BP), into mutagenic metabolites. We report that PFTα caused a potent inhibition of CYP1-related activity as measured by ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity in CYP1-containing MCF-7 cells and liver microsomes. It also directly affected the catalytic activity of human recombinant CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 isoforms, with a potent inhibitory effect towards CYP1B1. The nature of this CYP1B1 inhibition by PFTα was mixed-type with an apparent Ki of 4.38 nM. Blockage of CYP1 activity by PFTα was associated with a decreased metabolism of BP, a reduced formation of BP-derived adducts and a diminished BP-induced apoptosis in human cultured cells targets for PAHs like primary human macrophages and p53-negative KG1a leukaemia cells. These data further substantiate an unexpected and p53-independent action of PFTα for preventing toxicity of chemical carcinogens such as PAHs, through inhibition of CYP1 enzyme activities, especially that of CYP1B1.

Keywords: AhR, aryl hydrocarbon receptor; BP, benzo(a)pyrene; CYP, cytochrome P-450; PFTα, pifithrin α; EROD, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase; MC, 3-methylcholanthrene; PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; TCDD, 2,3,5,7-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

Journal Article.  4883 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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